Houston, June 19 – Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored local law enforcement officials in Montgomery County at the Take the Wheel Law Enforcement event today in Houston.
Outstanding Service Award: John Stephenson (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office): In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Assistant Chief Investigator Stephenson also serves as the investigator for the MCDAO Vehicular Crimes Division making him on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Assistant Chief Stephenson routinely responds to the scenes of fatality crashes to assist in the investigation and often takes the lead on the follow up detective work in order to figure out where a suspect was coming from prior to the crash. He also works to educate young people by participating in community and high school events on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
Prosecutor Service Award: Brittany Litaker (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office): On her second day as a member of the MCDAO Vehicular Crimes Call Out Team, ADA Litaker responded to the scene of a crash that nearly killed a couple and their teenage granddaughter. ADA Litaker assisted in and oversaw an extremely thorough investigation and prosecution that ultimately resulted in a jury sentencing the defendant to the maximum sentence under the law of 30 years in prison for three charges of Intoxication Assault.
Unsung Hero Award: Melody Pena (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office): As Legal Assistant for the MCDAO Vehicular Crimes Division, Ms. Pena is invaluable to the success of the No Refusal Program. Every week she reviews the evidence gathered and warrants obtained from that weekend’s No Refusal Operations. She also keeps track of all of the DWI statistics, vehicles held as evidence, and No Refusal supplies.
Judiciary Service Award: Judge Jennifer Robin (410th District Court): Over the past year, Judge Robin has performed more “on call” hours than any other judge without complaint. Since her election as the Local Administrative Judge over the District Courts of Montgomery County, she has overseen significant improvement in the “on call” policy of the judges, further ensuring that a judge will be available for law enforcement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She has shown a clear desire to improve judicial accessibility for reviewing search warrants and a willingness to serve beyond her regular duties.
Policy Setter Award: State Representative Will Metcalf (Texas State House District 16): Representative Metcalf introduced House Bill 1327 relating to enhancing the penalty for Intoxication Manslaughter and Intoxication Assault
under certain circumstances, such as when the crash involved more than one victim, a child was the victim, or when the suspect fled the scene of the crash.
Top DWI Arresting Officer: Steven Terrell (Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 3): Corporal Terrell joined Pct. 3’s DWI Division in the last quarter of 2016 and he led all officers in Montgomery County by making 145 DWI arrests during 2017.
DWI MADD Hero Award: Benjamin Polansky (Department of Public Safety): Trooper Polansky continues to show dedication to keeping the roads of safe from impaired drivers. In 2017 he made 76 DWI arrests and committed himself further to combating impaired driving by becoming a member of DPS’s District Crash Team after receiving extensive training on crash investigation and reconstruction.
Drug MADD Hero Award: Christopher Janis (Department of Public Safety): In a short time with DPS, Trooper Janis has helped combat impaired driving by making 53 DWI arrests in only six months. He has also received training on detective drivers impaired on drugs in order to help reduce the amount of drugged drivers on our roadways.
Outstanding Rookie Award: Bruno Miauro (Department of Public Safety): Trooper Miauro finished DPS’s FTO program on December 31, 2016 and began 2017 as a first year as a trooper working on his own. In 2017 he made 131 DWI arrests and consistently builds strong cases and shows an attention to detail that is reflected in his case reports and on the witness stand.
Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency: Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 3: Early in 2017, Pct. 3 chose to make DWI enforcement a priority for their agency. They saw the need of having officers dedicated to catching impaired drivers and chose to allocate existing resources to see what type of an impact they could make. Over the course of 2017 they succeeded in making an impact combating impaired driving by making 338 arrests for DWI/DUI offenses.